Local officers have been utilizing the Basic Law Enforcement Training program at Sampson Community College for more than 30 years. The program’s success is one of the many things the local educational institute is celebrating during its 50th anniversary.
Clinton Police Department lieutenant Robbie King and officer Kimberly Gore, both natives of Sampson County, are among the top officers the program has produced and now help serve in the community they were raised.
“BLET at Sampson Community College has been offered since 1985, per records located, and this year we celebrate 31 years of producing top officers for our community and beyond,” Jennifer Wiley, Criminal Justice Department chairwoman, said.
According to Wiley, additionally, most of the instructors in the program are from local law enforcement agencies and many were once BLET students at Sampson Community College.
“Over the years, they sharpened their law enforcement skills and training, rose through the ranks in their agencies and have come back around to invest in our students which is such a benefit to our local and surrounding communities where these students choose to work,” added Wiley. “Many of our students have joined local agencies such as Clinton Police Department, Sampson Sheriff’s Department, North Carolina State Highway Patrol and others.”
King has been working with the Clinton Police Department since 1995. After completing the BLET program at Sampson, King says he joined the force as one of the many members of his family to serve in law enforcement.
“I grew up with members of my family in law enforcement and they were a huge influence in my decision to choose law enforcement as my career path,” King explained.
The BLET curriculum is designed to prepare entry-level individuals with the cognitive and physical skills needed to become certified law enforcement officers in North Carolina. The course, Wiley said, is comprised of 36 separate blocks of instruction to include topics such as firearms, driver training, motor vehicle law, and arrest, search and seizure.
Both King and Gore say the program and the instructors in the program are among the best in the state and they would highly recommend those interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement to look into attending SCC.
“The BLET program at SCC is ideal for anyone interested in joining law enforcement,” Gore said. “From the application process to graduation, the instructors and staff are there to assist you every step of the way. Sampson Community College provides their BLET students with the training, skills, and knowledge needed to become an officer in today’s law enforcement world.”
For Gore, the program allowed her to attend class at night, which was ideal for her and enabled her to not only attend school and get the training she needed, but work and be close to home at the same time.
“The BLET program provides an exceptional amount of training that I use on a daily basis as an officer,” Gore explained. “The instructors, along with other staff that assist with the program, make sure that their students receive top quality training.”
Not only is King a graduate of the program, but he now serves as an instructor as a way of giving back to the community that made such an impact on his life when he attended the BLET program.
“I would definitely recommend the BLET program at Sampson to anyone because the instructors in the program are excellent and really care about the success of the students,” King said. “The instructors in the program are also local law enforcement officers and they provide insight into the local departments.”
Reach Kristy D. Carter at 910-592-8137, ext. 2588. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd. Like us on Facebook.